New Server Cabinet!

IMG_20131126_093344It’s been an exciting last few weeks with plenty of cool addition to the Lab. One of these if your new full sized server cabinet! Friend of the Lab Pat new a guy who knew a guy. Working with Pat we picked it up and brougth it back to the lab. It a Dell model and it’s super awesome. We are currently in the process of cramming servers into it. Thanks Pat!

Designer Lighting!

IMAG0333 This post is long overdue but better late then never! We’d seen Rebecca Schwarz’s designer lights at the number of local maker and art events and we thought “Man those are super cool!” After talking with Rebecca a little we learned that they usually lived in her basement unseen and unloved. Well with a little cajoling we managed to convince her to hang them at the Lab! We maybe the only hackerspace with designer lighting! If you want to see the cool lights from recycled material come on down to the Lab! Rebecca can also do workshops on how to make similar lights at schools and such!


Events with the Lab in October!

It’s cooling off outdoors but the Lab is heating up for October!

Laboratory B Hosted Events:

2600 Meeting Fri, October4, 5pm – 8pm:
2600 this Friday from 5-8 at the Quarterstaff Game Lounge,(178 Main Street in Burlington Vermont) Get your geek on before football takes over! Traditional old school hacker meetup! So cool
Soldering Workshop Thu, October 9th, 6:00pm to 8:30pm:
Come by the Lab from 6pm-8:30pm to learn to solder! We’ll be assembling Weevil Eye’s from Sparkfun. Donations welcome, RSVP [email protected] so we know you’re coming.
Python Session Wednesday, October 23, 6pm – 8pm:
Inexperienced and experienced  programmers gather to jam on Python code. This session focuses on lesson’s from Python The Hard Way.
Locksports Wednesday Wed, October 30, 6pm – 8pm:
Come by the Lab and learn about the inner working of locks, safes, and other physical security devices!

Directions to the Laboratory B can be found here

Events Laboratory B Members will be present at:

VT Hackathon:  Sam & Friends will be competing in the HackVt event hosted by Fairpoint Communications and C2 Computing. October 11-12. Jesse might be flying his multicopter around the building!
PumpCon: Laboratory B member Jesse will be in Philly for PumpCon a very old school hacker con. PumpCon is the 25-27th of October.
GoRuck Challenge: Jesse will be attempting the GoRuck Challenge (second time) Saturday the 5th at 1Am. It’s not that tech, but it’s crazy fun.

Events Laboratory B will be at:

TechJam: Laboratory B is proud to have a table at the Techjam along with Burlington’s other makerspaces. We’ll be there talking about Burlington Gig, Tech Outreach, what’s going on at the Lab and other fun stuff. October 18-19th at Memorial Auditorium in Burlington. Ask us about the after party.

Random but Cool:

Get your Tech-Month Burrito this October, all month long,at Boloco on Church Street! And this Friday, Oct 4. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 15% of all Boloco burrito sales (not just the Tech Month burrito) will be set aside for a donation to Girl Develop It.
“Girl Develop It” is dedicated to providing a harassment-free community and learning experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

Hack the Stacks: Civic Hacking at Fletcher Free Library
Want to create apps for Fletcher Free Library? Want to help Big Heavy World promote and preserve Vermont-made music? Want to build WordPress websites for Vermont’s non-profit organizations? Join other developers, technology integrators, designers and hackers of all types for 2 days of civic hacking at Fletcher Free Library.
 10am-6pm &  12pm-6pm
Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street, Burlington, VT 0540

Champlain Mini Maker Faire Roundup 2013

The Laboratory B crew had a great time at the two day  Champlain Mini Maker Faire! With the support of Sparkfun (Thanks, Dave(s) and Jeff) we taught kids & adults how to solder! We had three kits in the mix this year, Weevil Eye, Big Time Watch & Mr. Roboto. If you had trouble with your kit or ran out time please feel free to swing by the Lab, but let us know your coming ([email protected]) Awesome!

DIY: Screen Printing Laboratory B T-shirts

Members Julia & Kevin have spent the last two nights furiously handing silk screening new Laboratory B t-shirts!  Everything in this proccess is pretty much done by hand. From the printing of the screen, to printing up the shirts, to letting them air dry, ironing and then fixing any mistakes. The shirts aren’t perfect in everyway but that’s what DIY often looks like. You can pick one up at the Lab or at Champlain Mini Maker Fairethis weekend!

The Laboratory B will be running our awesome learn to solder station at Champlain Mini Maker Faire . We’ve got a bunch of kits to learn to solder with, and we might even be having some Arduino fun! We look forward to seeing you there!

Explain Shell

explainshellWhen you first start using Unix based systems you quickly learn about the wonderful world the Unix command shell. One of the first commands you also learn about with “ls”, “cd” and “cat” is “man”. Man is short for manual and almost all unix commands come with a man page. Manual pages are usually quite informative about what the command does and all the options, but sometimes it’s really hard to sort out. This can lead to trouble and frustration (boo!)
If you’re anything like me you might occasionally have a problem with your computer and someone will tell you to run some command with a bunch of flags.. say “iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -s ip-to-block -j DROP ” or “rm -rf /” now you could run this run this or you could pass it to explain shell to help you sort out exactly what a command does. This is also really useful for commands where input is piped from one command to another.

Also check out this article about copy and pasting from the web.

FairPhone! Or VermontPhone?


Let’s face is Vermont is pretty hippy state, that cares deeply about fair trade, organic, environmentally friendly things. So let’s take it beyond our housewares & food. Check this out the FairPhone. It’s basically a unlocked GSM based smartphone. Price is roughly $450, it’s unlocked too. It’s runs Android 4.2 out of the box.



Network Type GSM850/900/1800/1900MHZ
WCDMA 900/2100MHz
OS Android 4.2
Chipset MTK6589 (quad-core) 1.2 Ghz
System Memory 16GB + 1GB (RAM)
Dimensions (mm) 126*63.5*10 mm
Primary Screen 4.3 qHD (960×540 pixels)
Glass Dragontrail Glass
Primary Camera 8MP AF (stabilization + image sensor)
Secondary Camera 1.3 megapixels
Battery 2000mAh (Replaceable battery)
Weight 170 g
SAR Rating (indication)  0.318 W/Kg
NFC Chip Nope, sorry!
Headphones/Charger Not included by default (good for environment!)

More specs here!

Laboratory B Goes to Art Hop

The Laboratory B Crew and friends went out to Art Hop to show people how to make throwies and have a good time. We got together at the Lab around 5:30 assembled some throwies and made some awesome silly cyberpunk costumes (sorta). Then it was down to SEABA’s Art Hop. Art Hop is party open gallery show, part street fair and part Burning Man down on Pine Street.

It was great to see the Vermont Makers crew, and the Generator folks out too on Pine Street.

Soldering Workshop:Fix a phone edition!

Potential new member Charles stopped by the Laboratory to use the soldering station. Seems he tried an external antenna on his Samsung phone and the connector broke on him. This external antenna connector bypasses the internal antenna, so when it broke the phone could no longer use the 4G LTE antenna! Thus Charles was stuck with only 1x service (teh suck!). Charles used the Labs microelectronics station to desolder the broken connector. He then bridged the circuit with a bit of wire. Service went from 1x to 4G with 3 bars with this simple fix.

2013-09-05 18.36.30
After the MCA connector was removed.
Click to expand.
2013-09-05 19.21.12
After the connector was bridged with a bit of wire.
Click to expand.